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Ariana DeBose cried ‘once’ over backlash to BAFTAs performance

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Ariana Debose

Ariana DeBose has confessed she cried “once” over the backlash to her divisive performance at the 2023 BAFTA Film Awards.

While speaking to Marie Claire, the West Side Story star addressed the ridicule she endured online after her performance during the annual movie awards ceremony.

“I did cry once, but it was because I felt so bad that my grandmother was seeing the really horrible things that were being said that had actually nothing to do with the performance, that were just ripping me apart. That’s when I cried, because my grandmother loves me, and she doesn’t want to read that,” Ariana said of her response to the comments. “I have found that trying to act as if I don’t feel something is not helpful. Pretending it’s not happening, not helpful.”

At the awards show, Ariana performed an original song praising the women nominated for a BAFTA. Her lyrics included, “Angela Bassett did the thing, Viola Davis, my Woman King.”

The performance went viral on social media and spawned a number of memes and remixes.

“Yes, I performed at the BAFTAs. Yes, the Internet had a moment about it,” the actress continued in her interview. “Yes, some things were said that I didn’t appreciate and that I found very hurtful. And yes, eventually the tide turned on the Internet and people found what I saw in it: the fun, the joy.”

She added, “But that doesn’t mean that along that little journey, I didn’t feel my feelings about having the Internet make fun of me for being me and doing what I love to do.”

The actress also revealed that her original idea for the performance was “much simpler” and she had planned to list a bunch of names like Madonna’s Vogue, however, the producers wanted something showier.

Ariana is gearing up to host the Tony Awards for the second consecutive year in New York on Sunday.

– Cover Media